Custom Fabricated Support Grid Project
Quality, Speed, Reliability: The Marco Way
“We look forward to a challenge and regularly complete new and innovative projects.” — Russell Mapes, Marco
When a company was contracted to fabricate catalyst grids to place inside new vessels, that company did as many other companies and engineers do: They called on Marco Specialty Steel Inc.
“They naturally thought of Marco for our level of experience fabricating, the quality of our work, our knowledgeable and genuine customer service representatives, as well as our accommodating nature and ease of doing business,” said Russell Mapes, vice president of Marco Specialty Steel.
The project entailed 14 support grids and hold-down grids fabricated out of 304L stainless steel bar grating. The grids were three different sizes ranging from 10 feet to 16 feet outer diameter.
“As with all of our projects, our goal was to provide a finished product that would not only exceed the standards of our customer but in turn impress the end-user,” said Mapes.
Marco is no stranger to challenges, and this job was no exception. In the past, the company’s unique orders have included innovative ways of fabricating support grids, fabricating bar grating from high-temp alloys and creating prototype products.
Among the unique design and fabrication challenges were the floating hold-down grids, which needed to be able to float vertically as a unit without tilting or shifting. To accomplish this, Marco designed a bolt assembly and attached stabilizing fins. The bolt assembly was used on both the hold-down grids and support grids. On the hold-down grids, the bolt assembly enabled the segmented pieces to function as one unit. Although the support grids were attached to the outer diameter of the vessel with a support ring, the bolt assemblies unified and provided structural integrity of the entire unit. The stabilizing fins were required to be attached to the outer diameter of the hold-down grids to allow the grid to move up and down in the vessel while staying level.
“The job also required each segmented piece to be banded with seal welding on every bearing bar, which is relatively unique when fabricating bar grating catalyst grids,” explained Clayton Lewis, sales manager, Marco Specialty Steel. “This job also experienced multiple revisions and changes to the design during the course of quoting and fabricating.”
A few changes made during the fabrication process required Marco to work a significant amount of overtime and make customer-approved design changes midstream. Even though the overall process took approximately eight months, Marco was still required to fabricate within the deadline set forth at the beginning of quoting. In the end, each grid was delivered on time, within budget, and to the specifications provided to Marco.
“Our goal was for the end-user to be completely satisfied,” said Lewis. “We were happy to work hand-in-hand with our customers to overcome any obstacles.”
“In the end, the project was full of new ideas, challenges and deadlines, but I am very proud of the fact the team at Marco met all of these headlong and resolved them quickly and creatively, thus reinforcing why the customer came to us in the first place,” said Mapes. “I believe we are uniquely qualified for this type of work. Both our customer and the end-user have stated they are exceptionally pleased with our performance and will definitely be calling Marco again with future work.”
“Marco can always be relied upon to provide the utmost quality in our work, continuously communicate with our customers to ensure nothing is missed, have the knowledge and capabilities to actually deliver on our promises and bring projects home in a timely and cost-effective manner,” said Lewis.
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